Sunday, December 2, 2018

December Prompts

For our Emma Davies Photography School Camera Club project this month we are doing prompts. The first two are :-

1.Seasonal Colour

It snows a lot in Michigan. This year it seems to have come a little early. I'm not a big fan of snow but this was quite beautiful to look at. The snow was thick and heavy and clung to the trees and lines coating everything in a lovely blanket.

2. Silhouette

I found this one a little more difficult. When we were out at the lighthouse I saw this man jogging along the pier and thought it would  make a nice silhouette.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Inspired by...

This week the Emma Davies Photography School Camera Club project is something that is inspired by quotes or a word. These projects are really making me think. Combined with the Mindful Photography course I'm also taking with Emma it has certainly got me thinking about what direction I want my photography to take.

I think, at heart, I am a storyteller. It is what I enjoy doing. From the time I was a child to now, I have always enjoyed words and stories. I am beginning to think that's what I really enjoy about photography. I like the storyteller. I like being able to take a photo, an image, and I have a story to go with it. I don't usually share the story. I really think that's a personal thing. When you look at a photograph or a piece of art it should mean something to you and say something to you. That, I think, is what I want to find a way to convey with my photographs.

As I said, and shared on my Instagram account, the theme this week was picking words that inspired you. This is mine - a little long to share on Instagram, so I shared here.

When I was a teen I spent a lot of time reading. I’ve never been a very social person. There was this lovely bookshop in Ipswich that was housed in a building called The Ancient House that was built in the 15th century. It was a beautiful building with lots of small rooms all containing books. I remember the teen/children section being in a room towards the back of the building. I used to go there on the weekends, pull down a book and sit on the floor. It was on one of my visits that I ‘discovered’ a book called The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. I loved that book! I re-read it over and over. It was in this book that I was introduced to Robert Frost and one of my now-favourite poems.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Black and White Photography

Lately I've found myself drawn to black and white photography. Before embarking on my camera adventure I would have thought that it was a fairly easy concept. I've discovered it isn't. Black and White photography has contrast and different shades. It isn't just straightforward. Not always. I found myself taking these shots last weekend at St. Joseph Lighthouse in Southwest Michigan on the lakeshore. The weather was windy and grey (there is lots of grey in Michigan in Winter). I was feeling a little uninspired until I looked around for stories.

There were lots of wind surfers on one side of the channel - the calmer side. It was fun to stand and watch them. Some stayed close to the water, others jumped high into the air. It made me think of their stories and what made them want to go into the really cold water and seemingly have fun.

Standing and watching the surfers from the pier, I could also see the fishermen and fisherwomen. Their passion was just as evident - standing out in the freezing cold for the chance at catching a fish - but not as physical. It made me wonder about their stories too. Were they fishing for fun? Or for a chance at catching something for their families to eat? Were they standing out there because they enjoyed it or because their families were depending on them?

I think I am slowly discovering that the joy of photography is in telling a story. Perhaps it is not always evident, perhaps the story is unique to the person looking at a photograph, but I think it's stories that I want to tell.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Year with my Camera - October update

This month in the Emma Davies Photography School Club (EDPS Camera Club) we are supposed to pick something to work on within our photography. As one of my 'things' I decided to work on shutter speed. Technically I know how it is supposed to work, but putting it into practise was another matter. Confession time :- when I was out taking photos while walking I mainly put my camera into sports mode for the walking/flying wildlife. I don't want that. So this month I got out and about and tried.

Outcome - overall I am fairly pleased with the results. I still have problems with the light aspect when taking flying animals. The shots aren't always the best, the ISO gets up there and the image gets fuzzy. My best results were in good light days - which makes sense. I am a lot more comfortable using the shutter speed setting on my camera.

 1/1000 ISO 250 F6.3

1/1250 ISO 500 f6.3

The birds at the local lake on my morning walk make for good subjects.

1/1600 ISO 1400 f6.3

Sunday, October 7, 2018


It's the start of a new month and that means it's time for 1day12pics. It happens every month on the first Saturday of the month for the course A Year with my Camera. I try to participate each month. Usually I do them on a Sunday as that's when hubby and I go out for a drive or walk and I take lots of photos. This month...not so much. It rained yesterday and it's still raining today, so this week there was no walk. I tried taking photos yesterday but, for several reasons, it wasn't a good day and I didn't feel particularly inspired. I have included them here.

As it was rainy again on Sunday I decided to try again. I chose a theme this time - creating. I did get up into my craft room today so worked on a couple things. The other photos are of different projects I'm in the middle of or have just finished, some are photo projects and some are other crafts. The only one not a creative project is what I rewarded myself with - a lovely chocolate biscuit.

I feel a little better about this lot. I worked on some macro photography and there isn't a wildlife photo amongst them!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail

I went for a walk yesterday by myself so it was somewhere close. I ended up at Portage Creek Bicentennial Trial. This trail is all pavement and sometimes gets really busy. There are joggers, walkers - both nature and dog walkers, bikers and kids. It can be quite busy and not always quiet. Yesterday wasn't too bad. There were a group that were quite loud but I let them pass by. I think they were getting ready for a run. I do really enjoy this walk in winter as it is a lot quieter! The trail is quite lovely and there are usually deer to be seen. There are a couple of turn-offs that lead down to Portage Creek and are quite pretty.

The path leading down to one of the boardwalks. Watch where you step or the water will pop up!

Beautiful large fungus. I love looking for different types of these as I walk through the woods in Autumn.

I was so happy to see one of these birds! It has been on my summer bucket list. Not the greatest photo but pretty clear.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Walk in the Woods

Husband and I try to go out each Sunday for a walk. It's been a little too hot to walk far but this Sunday was a little cooler so we decided to try a new park. The one we chose today was Hemlock Crossing Park, West Olive. The park was quite easy to find and parking was spacious. There are a lot more trails here than we thought. We picked a couple to do and walked about 3.1 miles. The trails were well sign-posted and easily followed. It wasn't too busy when we got there but when we were done with our walk there were quite a few people around so I imagine it gets quite busy. Despite the cooler temps there were a lot of mosquitoes around. We should have remembered bug spray! I ended up getting bitten quite a bit.

The trails we followed were pretty flat though there are some ups and downs on other trails. There are some beautiful views of the river and lots of little bridges. I imagine once the leaves start turning there will be some beautiful scenes. We have definitely added this to our walk-again list. There were plenty of birds about and we also saw a heron, hummingbird and beautiful butterflies. Well worth a walk!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

What Are They Thinking?

This month in our Emma Davies Photography School Camera Club the theme is wildlife. I like taking wildlife photos. Mostly they are taken in my garden or when I'm out walking at Asylum Lake, Kalamazoo, where I regularly walk. When I'm walking I'm usually looking and doing a little daydreaming and sometimes I wonder what the animals are thinking. Here are a couple. 

Caption: Who? Me? I wasn't doing anything!

Caption: Hey buddy, this is a bird feeder, not a chipmunk feeder

Caption: Don't worry dear, it's just another of those strange people taking our photo. 

Caption: If you had an itch like this, you'd be pulling a funny face too. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Elusive Hummingbird!

Despite seeing them in my garden at last - just when it's time for them to disappear - I hadn't been able to capture one. The little things move so quickly, fluttering about and barely taking a breath. I managed to get a few somewhat grainy images and was thinking about giving it a break for a while. I knew I shouldn't sit and wait for hummingbirds all day!

However, last week I went to visit my daughter in Minnesota and made a trip to the lovely Munsinger and Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud. What a stunning place! I absolutely loved the visit. I had been there before but usually in colder weather when there wasn't a lot of anything growing. I was happily walking along taking photos when I came upon a spot where I saw some hummingbirds! I couldn't believe it. I tried taking photos, but none seemed to stick around. I couldn't hang around longer (that sounds like something to do another time lol) as daughter was waiting for me with her dog (no dogs in the gardens!).

When I got back to daughter's I was delighted to find that one of the photos wasn't half bad! I would love to get a clearer one, but for now I'm pretty happy I got this one!

How beautiful! So while I am still searching for that 'perfect' shot, for now I'll take this one.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Foggy Sunday

Yesterday was cool and cloudy with a little break in the clouds. This morning started off hot, humid and foggy. In places the fog was so thick it was difficult to see very far. I'm still learning about how to take photos in the fog. They don't always show up the greatest, but it is so pretty out it's worth getting out there and giving it a try.

The fog makes everything seem so eerie so I thought I'd do them in black and white to lend to the strange atmosphere and the way the fog makes me feel.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Elusive Hummingbird

I have seen a few of them this summer, but I have yet to catch one of these little birds on camera. Sigh. It's become my big 'hunt' of the summer. I have tried planting vines that they are supposed to like (which failed to grow), I've tried attracting them with special nectar - nope. The only thing I managed to attract were ants. I've seen some of them on my walks at the lake. Last week one of them actually hovered in front of my face for a few seconds as I was watching a heron fishing. Did I manage to snap it? Nope. I was so surprised that by the time I got ready to snap it had gone. Sigh.

This is the best that I've got and it was taken a couple of years ago (through a window of a restaurant) before I started to learn how to use my camera properly. I know that I can do so much better now, but they are proving too cunning for me! If not this year perhaps next....

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fresh Start/Deer in the Garden

I'm going to take a deep breath, reset myself and start again. I have been neglecting this blog of late. I think it's either time to post more often or give it up entirely. I'm going to try posting more often, sharing photos that I take. Although the blog has suffered of late, I have been out and about taking photos.

This week in our garden a mother deer and her two baby fawns have been visiting. They are really fun to watch and not too scared of humans at all. One day I sat in my chair on the back porch and watched them for quite a while. We live in a town, not the countryside but there are always plenty of deer about in Michigan.

I love this one! I posted it on my Instagram account too.

They were quite playful with one another. Our garden isn't very big but one would bound around the garden and the other would follow.

One of the fawns watched as Mum ate from the birdfeeder and decided to follow. They were eating quite a lot in the garden but (luckily) didn't come near the tomato plants!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I'm Back!

I got sick. Flu, followed by a serious sinus infection. Three weeks later and I'm finally getting back on my feet. My 100 Day Project is an epic fail. I am disappointed, but I have forgiven myself for getting sick. It was just one of those things that can't be helped and I'm not going to stress over it. The Colour my World project was a daily thing so I have decided not to continue. The 100 Days of All About Me I'm going to slowly catch up on and finish my book. 

Otherwise on this blog I'll be posting photos of my walks again. I'm slowly getting back on my feet and out taking photos again. Today hubby and I took our first walk in three weeks. It was, sadly, dull and grey, but I did get my camera out. 

Warren Dunes State Park. The beach is slowly being cleaned up for the summer season. It is amazing to imagine that just a few months ago we walked this beach covered in ice and snow. Now the beach has been evened out and new signs put up. In a couple of weeks the beach will be full of people. I will miss the solitude of the winter months, but it will be nice to walk without being bundled to the nines. Despite the clouds, it was quite mild out and there was little to no wind at all. 

We drove along the coast of the lakeshore down to St. Joseph Lighthouse. This is another of our 'regular' haunts. We don't usually go there much in the summer - the place we park at cost $10 for parking however little/long you are there. We aren't really ones for sitting on the beach. We usually want to just walk the lighthouse and the cost is a little too high. 

The parking metres were back in position (they don't charge during the winter) but while trying to work out when paid parking started, I was happy to read that they will be doing hourly parking too! How great! We don't mind paying $2 for an hour just for a stroll along the beach and lighthouse. 

The pier wasn't that busy but there were quite a few fishermen out. The gulls were hanging around too. 

Our last stop was South Haven. We decided to get a different view and park at the top of the hill. 

And that was our Sunday. It was nice to get out and about again.